Hanford Veterinary Hospital Blog
Pet Costumes You Can Really Write Home About
It’s almost Halloween, and time’s running out to get your costume under way. There’s no shortage of creative, classy, or wack-a-doo options for people – and our pets can also join in the fun! Of course, many won’t have anything to do with playing dress-up, but for those who are adorably tolerant, we’ve got some award-winning pet costume ideas to share with you.
Assess the Situation
Everyone loves a good photo op, and, for many pets, that’s about as long as they’ll tolerate our shenanigans. Remember to never force your pet into wearing a costume. With time, praise, and lots of encouragement, it’s possible your pet may warm up to the idea, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work out.
If your pet doesn’t seem to mind getting dressed up, remain vigilant to any warning signs, such as:
- Excessive panting
- Spinning around trying to get out of the costume
- Biting or pawing at material
- Uncharacteristic behaviors, such as hiding or withdrawing
Problems with Pet Costumes
It’s not advisable to cover an animal’s face or head. To that end, try to avoid pet costumes that involve a mask or hat. It just adds another level of stress, fear, and anxiety to your pet’s Halloween experience.
Likewise, any items that can easily be chewed off, swallowed, or choked on must be removed (bows, ribbons, sequins, beads, etc.). Entanglements can also occur when a pet is trying to get out of their costume. Please keep a close eye on your pet, and stay alert to any problems.
Lastly, before you design the greatest pet costume of all time, do not dress your pet in highly flammable materials, costumes that fit poorly, or get-ups that restrict movement or breathing.
Now, with all the safety boxes checked, you can get down to business. Check out some of the following pet costume ideas for inspiration:
- Star Wars – Don’t go over to the “bark side” without donning Yoda ears or the robes of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Food – You might not want to dress up like sashimi, but it’s truly adorable on pets! How about a can of tuna or a T-bone? We’ve also seen outstanding versions of doughnuts, cupcakes, pizza, and tacos!
- Famous faces – Who’s your favorite celebrity? Dolly Parton? Willie Nelson? Lady Gaga? Pop culture is a never-ending source of great pet costume ideas.
- Another animal – It’s kind of funny to see a dog dressed as a cat or vice versa. We also like bumble bees, raccoons, praying mantis, spiders, octopus, dolphins, and more. The sky’s the limit!
- Superheroes – From Iron Man to Wonder Woman, the world of comics offers “super” fun ideas for pet costumes.
Remember, Halloween is fun, but it can also pose serious risks to your pet’s health and safety. Be sure your pet is microchipped and has visible ID tags attached securely to a reflective collar and leash. Never allowed them to wander too far from your side.
Candy, especially chocolate or xylitol-sweetened treats, are highly toxic to animals. Dangerous decor, like jack-o’-lanterns with real candles, animatronic displays, or exposed wiring, should be strictly avoided.